Memo to Brights

Wheaton’s Law does not state, “When you hit bottom, keep digging.”  So when you’ve been a rude jerk demanding to impose on a stranger’s time, it’s best not to follow up your jerkness with…

Mr. Shea, in your hastiness it seems you proceeded to debate my assistant. Did the person you spoke with ever introduce themselves as Jersey Flight? Then on what grounds did you assume this? My assistant was contacting you (on my behalf) to schedule a debate. [I hope you find this as amusing as I do?]

If your post is fair would you not figure in my reply? [One must also thank you for the excellent press.]

Indeed, do you not have a high view of yourself? It is no surprise that a man who worships the Pope would speak as though he were himself a kind of Pope.

A question was asked to which you responded in the negative. You spoke as though my assistant made a declarative statement! This was not the case, he asked you a question: are you afraid to engage in debate with me?

Again, you offered an altogether hasty reply.

I have no pity for your busyness; for what is the nature of your busyness after all? Producing more literature to corrupt the minds of youth! Intense concentration in archaic sophistry! You ought to be pulled away; you ought to be called out! Cease from error; leave our children alone! If you desire to waste your own life this is one thing, but to indoctrinate children with your rubbish, this brings you before men like me.

The point of debating is not to convert the audience but to prove, that people like yourself, are intellectual charlatans; to reshape the consensus of culture. To prove that men like you merely exist by way of posture.

You have a Phantom; you have a Trinity; you pledge allegiance to the Pope.

[in all truth (P) and (T) are the same thing.]

There is no need to debate a man like you, when any detailed exposition of your beliefs, would prove that your beliefs refute themselves! Clearly your beliefs are fantastic! Behold the field of theological diversity!

“Let them first agree and consent together that God is of such and such a nature, and then, when they have sketched out for us that nature, let them require that we should form a conception of God.” Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book III, Chap.III

Instead of thrusting your anger and agitation at not being able to manage your schedule (as if you were the only one who is busy); perhaps you could simply reply as the adult you claim to be, by saying you don’t have time? This is much more mature on your part. But then again, believing in a Trinity as you do, I highly doubt you care about the nature of the maturity of your belief?

It matters not. You have merely left the conversation to the future; to a generation which does not share your values. This is a prime example of the Churches’ forcedretreat [into theological privatization to avoid the reality of public embarrassment.]

In one generation I predict your sect will become culturally obsolete.

Anyone can strike a man in the face and run away, which is precisely what you have done by the insinuation of your post. Try supporting the claims of your piety. I wonder how many people you have bullied with your rhetoric? [Perhaps you can reference your argument for the truth of the Trinity?]

Leave my assistant alone. If you have issues with me then step up to the plate or forever hold your peace.

I have already won the exchange by the very fact that you refuse to have it.

Confidently yours,

Jersey Flight

Here, dude:  You earned this:

Brights: Mistaking utter social cluelessness with their own brilliance for nearly 20 years.

  • Spastic Hedgehog

    Who is this guy and what basement does he live in?

    • PalaceGuard

      And, for that matter, how many old socks did he need to build his assistant?

      • Spastic Hedgehog

        I’m reminded of this…

  • Stu

    The horse is dead.

    Leave it.

  • Alipius

    Is he for real?

  • Sherry

    Wow. But he does raise a problem, the brights cannot recognize your magnitude because you don’t have a personal assistant. If you did, you would get the sublime nature of his busyness. Perhaps you should hold a contest for those with sufficient servitude to become your lackey, sycophant or toadie depending upon who you deem worthy to reach out to nobles like his confident self in correspondence.

  • HornOrSilk

    I have already won, because I call myself HornOrSilk (same level of authenticity as his for claiming a victory). Someone not wanting to debate a punk doesn’t mean the punk wins. Talk about egomania and logical fallacy.

    • Guest

      William Lane Craig has already won, because Dawkins won’t debate him.

      Check-mate, mate.

  • http://ontheotherfoot.blogspot.com/ Joel

    “In one generation I predict your sect will become culturally obsolete.”

    Isn’t that what Nero said, too?

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

    Before I started blogging, I would have thought this was parody because it’s so over the top, but he sounds like every single atheist who has ever posted in my combox. The mixture of hubris, social ineptitude, confidence, and ignorance says, “I’m 20 years old, and always shall be.”

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald
  • Andy, Bad Person

    You ought to be pulled away; you ought to be called out! Cease from error; leave our children alone!

    Hysterical. Whose children?

  • Anna Dawson

    I’m surprised there weren’t more typing errors with his head so far up his ass. Oh wait, the *assistant* probably took it down, huh?

    Anyone else imagine Jersey Flight to wear a silk cape and ascot, with all that hoity-toity posturing prose?

  • meunke

    “It is no surprise that a man who worships the Pope would speak as though he were himself a kind of Pope.”
    - Wait…. YOU’RE A POPE!?!?!

    • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

      He’s an Auntie Pope.

    • Alma Peregrina

      “It is no surprise that a man who worships the Pope would speak as though he were himself a kind of Pope.”

      He’s so smart, he doesn’t even need logic to conclude something.

      • Alma Peregrina

        It is no surprise that a man who worships nothing would speak as though he were himself nothing.

        Ergo, this atheist does not exist.

  • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

    What a ridiculously incoherent and self-contradictory response.

  • Advocate

    Or waiting to the Catholic Church to disappear…..

  • B

    This *has* to be a joke.

  • Thomas Boynton Tucker

    Is this satire? Mark, you have outdone yourself with this hilarious piece of bloviation!

  • Rachel

    My jaw is on the floor right now. I can’t decide what mixture of appalling vs amusing this is. 50/50? 80/20? Definitely a combination of the two ;)

  • Alma Peregrina

    William Lane Craig has already won, because Dawkins won’t debate him.

    Check-mate, mate

  • Kate Cousino

    So much evidence for the Dunning-Kruger effect here…

    (Also, my inner proofreader really wants to send Mr. Flight a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, with the section on clauses and comma usage tabbed).

  • Maolsheachlann

    Rapiers at dawn. This is where this is going.

  • PeonyMoss

    Mr. Flight might want to look into one of those social skills/ “hidden curriculum” groups that are out there, or peruse the resources at http://www.succeedsocially.com/

  • Martha O’Keeffe

    Oh goodness me, Mark, you were invited to a debate with someone who has an assistant! How mighty and important a person that must be – do you have an assistant doing all the everyday tasks for you? No? You do all your own blogging and emailing?

    Well, pshaw! No wonder you are no match for Jersey Flight!

  • lspinelli

    I found this dude’s website. Warning: Even though I only skimmed over it, it’s all about and only about the ramblings of a self-involved bore who probably rarely comes up for fresh air and sunshine.

    http://theskepticthinker.com/index.html

    • lspinelli

      Dear Jersey Flight: Between all the hot air that comes out of yourself and other New Jersey luminaries known for their scintillating conversational skills, such as Snooki, JWoww and the Jersey Housewives, we could achieve this: http://boingboing.net/2010/03/09/making-good-use-of-h.html

    • Kristen inDallas

      Ok I bit… on his site there appears to be a section dedicated to debates, which looks a bit more like a collection of people declining to talk to someone who has yet to learn common courtesy. This bit from the intro to one of his exchanges is pretty telling:
      “One needs to keep in mind that the conversation following my letter never took
      place. One can imagine that it would not have been hard to follow up with a
      smashing refutation against Marshall’s reply…”
      It might be nice if someone actually would debate this guy, as it would seriously interrupt his imaginary debate game in which he always wins.

    • Clare Krishan

      Pray for him, a former seminarian apparently http://www.meetup.com/thought/events/135055172/ (podcast here http://theskepticthinker.com/is-god-still-alive.html) who has lost whatever grasp of faith he had been graced with, can we imagine such anguish, antagonized by transcendent authority claims? “Jersey Flight is one of the founders of the Socratic Forum for Thought.[Founded Sep 29, 2012, Seattle, WA] He is a former Christian dogmatist and defender of the faith; he has debated on several college campuses. He ultimately believes that theism is a scourge to humanity, and has no problem with direct confrontation. He refuses to engage in debates where the opponents cannot interact on a question answer basis.”]
      The Seattle Christian Duane Morris does a good job of covering what is missing from monotheistic revelation before Jesus: love (a verb, ie mutual grammar that bridges object and subject). Mr Flight’s use of logic and rhetoric express a sort of aggrieved insult that anyone he debates invokes a third Acting Person (a Creator) necessary for the topic to even exist to be debated over. He is disinclined to imbue speech acts (his own or his interlocutor) with a common ‘grammar’ of social meaning: he muddles knowledge and understanding, obscuring a distinction between material-physical ‘scientia’ of natural causes with metaphysical supernatural gift of believing as ‘knowing’. His debate style is non-self-sustaining, he has no arguments to examine other than cross-examining Mr Morris’ concepts such as love, evil, truth. He’s Screwtape: I quote “All that matters is the authority that decrees what morality is to be decreed” (Nietzche’s “will to power” scary really that he can’t conceive his own jeopardy: ‘life as torture’ under such a regime). Intellect is in the (rational) mind, whereas will is an act of the heart, love is a decision. The first act of grammar we can make via logic is that we are incomplete, via rhetoric we can deduce beauty, goodness and truth, we feel pain, a longing of desire (a grammar of seeking communion) for the source of this perception. Could Mr Flight be suffering from post traumatic stress of a Presbyterian-Calvinist upbringing, the denial of man’s heart-free will made in the image of Trinitarian love? Couldn’t such awkward scrupulosity arise from a misbegotten Christian heresy? A remedy may be St. Francis de Sales’ devotional writings on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, if he had the humility to desire affirmation of an authority more “bright” than his own? I sense a brittle Asperger’s-like temperament, a sort of social disability hyper-attuned to perceived injustice, an obsessive compulsive handicap that seeks to order all sensations under his narrow deterministic control (that unfortunately can afflict many of us in our associations with others and denies the Holy Spirit the space to act in human affairs). Love sometimes means abiding in trusting despite manifest uncertainty. A shot of supernatural grace has greater power than all natural forces that have ever existed and ever will. That’s an awesome concept to grasp (and the first gift of the Holy Spirit).

  • Grey Pilgrim

    To paraphrase:

    Mr. Shea – Having long observed your writing I know well with what intemperate and immature disposition you are likely to respond to this, but due to the importance and delicacies of the issue at I hand and in the spirit of open, honest, and reasoned debate I implore you with greatest felicity to seriously consider and honestly respond to the following inquiry, for the good of your readers, society in general, and indeed for the sake of the entire universe:

    Are you chicken?

    BWOCK! BWOCK! BWOCK!

    Scaredy cat?
    BWOCK! BWOCK BWOCK!

    MARK SHEA IS A BIG FRAIDY-CAT, YELLOW-BELLIED CHICKEN!
    BWOCK! BWOCK! BWOCK!

    I do hope you will find it within you to consider this question in the honest and open spirit in which it was posed.

    Your Intellectual Superior,
    Jersey Girl

    • chezami

      You forgot The Children. Why won’t I leave The Children alone? What is *wrong* with me? :)

    • enness

      This!! Thisthisthis.

  • OldWorldSwine

    Hilarious!! Does he do children’s parties, you think?

  • Brad Harvey

    He not only has an assistant, but an assistant with a nearly identical writing style. Said assistant is obviously doing a bang-up-job moderating Mr. Flight`s (empty)combox. Or is it that his multitudinous followers are intimidated by his brilliance?

  • tj.nelson

    My assistant just read this post and quit.

  • OldWorldSwine

    Oooh!! I want to be Mark’s toadie/assistant! As long as I can telecommute.

  • JohnMcG

    Did his mommy spell-check this for him before he sent it?

    I hope he won’t confuse my question for a declarative statement.

    • Paxton Reis

      Mommy/his assistant.

  • Anna

    This entertaining missive makes me think that “Jersey Flight” is a name that, like “Ford Prefect”, was chosen due to insufficient research.

  • Chesire11

    That.Was.Awesome!

  • Pavel Chichikov

    From a reply on another blog to an atheist reference to fairies(sky variety):

    “And you, continue to have absolute faith in your Magical Nothing, from
    whence all things apparently come, and for which you have no empirical
    nor practical evidence.”

  • sharon autenrieth

    That was very, very entertaining. Thank you for the self-parody, Mr. Flight.

  • Bad MF
  • Joe

    Does this suggest multiple personalities? Considering how strange and somewhat rambling his writing style is, perhaps he is a more advanced and ruder form of spambot?

  • Guest

    “You ought to be pulled away; you ought to be called out! Cease from error; leave our children alone! If you desire to waste your own life this is one thing, but to indoctrinate children with your rubbish, this brings you before men like me.”

    Look out, Socrates, they’re getting the hemlock. :p

  • Barbara

    The douche is strong with this one….

    • chezami

      Bwahahahahaha!

  • Leticia Adams

    I dunno, I feel like he has this humility thing down. o.O

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

    I’m treating all of you to personal assistants:

    Champion Men’s 6 Pack No Show Sock
    http://amzn.com/B003YJE75I


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